Trkiye holds over 120 irregular migrants

Turkish forces held more than 120 irregular migrants across Trkiye, security sources said Tuesday. Turkish teams rescued 37 irregular migrants found in a rubber boat off the coast of Izmir’s Dikili district. Their boat was drifting due to engine failure and they requested help, according to the Turkish Coast Guard Command. Coast guard teams also nabbed 35 irregular migrants trying to cross illegally in rubber boats off the coast of Kusadasi district in western Aydin province. They were pushed back into Turkish territorial waters by Greek forces, the Coast Guard Command said in a separate statement. Meanwhile, coast guard teams were dispatched off the coast of Ayvalik, Balikesir after detecting 33 irregular migrants in two lifeboats, according to the Turkish Coast Guard Command. They were illegally pushed back into Turkish territorial waters by Greek authorities, it added. Another group of 16 irregular migrants who entered the country illegally were held by Turkish security forces in northwestern Kirklareli province. All of the migrants were taken to provincial migration offices. Trkiye has been a key transit point for irregular migrants wanting to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution. Trkiye and global rights groups have repeatedly condemned Greece’s illegal practice of pushing back irregular migrants, saying it violates humanitarian values and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children. *Writing by Gozde Bayar.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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